Thursday, August 23, 2012

Low Iodine: Bread, no circus

My thyroid doctor always sends a helpful list of forbidden foods with my appointment list and instructions for the radioactive iodine scan, and it very confusingly says that fresh bread from the bakery is OK, despite the fact that fresh bread from the bakery often contains salt of unknown provenance, and/or dairy of some kind. In the past I've made my own pita & foccacia, and purchased salt- and dairy-free bread from Trader Joe's. This time, I've opted to bake my own loaves using the no knead bread popularized by Mark Bittman in the New York Times. Friends had been raving about how easy this bread is to make, and how good the results are, for years but I dismissed even this simple recipe as too complicated for my already maximally complicated life.

Well, it really is that easy. The instructions: Flour, instant yeast, kosher salt, and water get dumped in a bowl, mixed together, covered and left to sit on the counter for 12-18 hours. After that time, the results are dumped on a floured board, folded over a couple of times, rested for 15 minutes, then shaped into a ball and left to sit for another two. Preheat a dutch oven at 450 for 30 minutes, throw the bread in, and bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 30 more.

That's it. The result isn't the best bread you've ever tasted, but it's a reasonable facsimile. I mix the dough before I go to bed, knock it down when I get home from work the next day, then bake it after dinner. It's great toasted and brushed with good olive oil, kosher salt & garlic powder, or straight up with some homemade jam and unsalted peanut butter. I'll probably continue baking it even after the low-iodine diet is done.

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